UK’s Top Bank NatWest Restricts Transactions to Crypto Exchanges Including Binance

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Major UK Bank Bans Business Customers Who Accept Bitcoin
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The National Westminster Bank (NatWest) has temporarily imposed a limit on the daily amount that its clients can send to crypto exchanges like Binance, over concerns of rising cases of crypto-related scams and fraud, according to the Bank’s spokesperson.

“We have seen a high level of cryptocurrency investment scams targeting our customers across retail and business banking, particularly through social media sites.”

NatWest stated that to protect its customers from exploitation by criminals on such platforms, the bank has temporarily reduced the maximum daily amount that a customer can send to a cryptocurrency exchange. Additionally, some payments belonging to a small number of crypto assets firms with proven significant levels of fraudulent intents to its customers will be blocked.

NatWest Turning Crypto-Hostile

As one of Britain’s largest, crypto-friendly banks and domestic lenders, NatWest said that the restrictions started on June 24 and are targeted at various exchanges and digital assets firms. The limit goes up to thousands of pounds and features different caps depending on individual crypt-related businesses.

NatWest is owned by RBS and initially allowed its customers to use credit and debit cards to buy cryptocurrencies. Recent complaints have indicated that NatWest has been slowly turning hostile to crypto-related transactions.  Earlier in June 2021, one of its customers revealed that NatWest was preparing to drop cryptocurrency transactions.

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Binance Under Fire in the UK, Again

The news marks the second time in less than a week that Binance is under fire in the UK, following the recent FCA ban on its UK subsidiary Binance Market Limited.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), both Binance and Binance Market Limited do not have legal authorization to conduct any regulated financial activities in the UK, but still offer a wide range of Citizens to UK residents.

Binance was ordered to display a notice on its website and social media platforms that it’s unauthorized to conduct business in the UK and preserve all records of trading activity from UK consumers and notify the FCA in writing by July 2, 2021.

As a response, Binance said that the FCA has no direct impact on services provided by Binance.com, a factor that has raised concerns about how much power the FCA can exercise over offshore crypto giants like Binance.

According to a lawyer working in the crypto industry, the FCA is just acting like a regime and trying to control bitcoin but it has little control over such entities. Unless they can block the website in the United Kingdom, which you can’t really do, then they’re out of real practical options.

Other top banks in the UK that offer crypto-related services include Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Nationwide, and TSB Bank.